Hungarian wine culture is characterised by diversity, originality and uniqueness. The country’s six wine-producing areas, including the diverse wine styles of the 22 wine districts, tell numerous stories, personified and recounted most authentically by the individual winemakers themselves.
The environment of Lake Balaton is especially favourable for vineyards. As the largest lake in Central Europe, Lake Balaton produces plenty of reflected sunlight, adequate humidity and cooler summers – thus creating a distinctive mesoclimate.
The contiguous lowland of the Great Plain with its sandy soils, bordered by the Danube and Tisza Rivers, is famous for its light, less acidic wines. The weather here is essentially continental, but due to the flat terrain and quartz soil, the temperature fluctuates a lot: summers are hot and cold winters are often followed by spring frosts.
The Upper Hungarian wine region is unique in that the vineyards are usually located at 200-300 metres, on a high plateau or on the sloping side of the mountains, while the grapevines grow at a height of 500 metres on the side of Nagy-Eged Hill.
Almost entirely made up of hills, the region is located along the Lower Mecsek and the Villány Mountains, and is characterised by plenty of sunshine and a strong Mediterranean mesoclimate.
The major wine region is comprised of Tokaj and the surrounding 26 settlements. Its natural boundaries are Sátor Mountain, Kopasz Mountain, and the Tisza and Bodrog rivers. This area is considered a separate wine region of its own, due to a number of unique features: one being the local climate, which is very conducive to noble rot, and the other being the wet marshlands near the rivers.
Nowadays, wine and wine districts do not necessarily come to mind with regard to this region, although there have been plenty of connections over the centuries. Vines and wine, associated with Pannonia for thousands of years, have been part of everyday life since Roman times.
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